SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Paralyzed Patients Control Robotic Arm With Their Minds
from ScienceNOW Daily News
A thought-powered robotic arm could put independence within reach for
disabled patients, researchers report. In a new study, two people with
almost-complete body paralysis were able to reach and grasp small foam
balls and a thermos of coffee with a robotic arm using only their
brain signals to direct the motion. The result, a first for human
subjects, brings scientists a step closer to restoring mobility for
people with spinal cord injuries, lost limbs, and other conditions
that limit movement.
Mind-melding between animals and machines isn't new; researchers have
been attempting it since the 1970s. Past studies in brain-machine
interfaces have enabled monkeys to control robotic arms and paralyzed
people to control cursors on a screen.
But researchers didn't know if humans could control robotic arms to
perform finer, more complex tasks, such as maneuvering in three
dimensions and grasping a small object without moving it or knocking
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